Dear devotees, receive all my affection from Jahnavi Kunja Gaudiya Math, on the banks of the Ganges, watching the sunset.
Today's message is about learning to appreciate what we have received and recognize who is behind it all. Srila Prabhupada opened the doors of this house (Krishna Consciousness) to enlighten everyone. It is impressive, as today we are gathered from all over to sing, dance, and honor prasadam. No one, by no means has been able to deny the place of appearance of Sri Caitanya where we are today, we can even say that it has come to public attention that Sri Caitanya was here over 500 years ago, bringing a very important message to spread to all the world.
If we think a little more, it's all about the relation of how things manifest. For example, someone may think that the mission of Srila Prabhupada ended when he left this world, but they are very wrong. Because Srila Prabhupada's Mission is recently manifesting, the world is still recently being notified that there is a very large and revolutionary message that is being heard. It is not difficult to conclude that we are all brothers and sisters, it's easy to understand ... but getting to the scientific practice of this brotherhood, and appreciating all in your life, sharing your life with others, it is not yet widespread among people.
I recently stayed at Kumbha Mela and had the experience of meeting with many yogis from different schools and mystical ways. Without wishing to criticize but to discuss my experience, I met many yogis seeking just close their eyes to get a quick trance or any apparent meditation, but that's not the process. I wish it were that easy. However, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, brought a process with practical results for the soul in a very innovative way.
In Kumbha Mela we attended a seminar (oddly named) "Innovation in spirituality." How can we define innovation in spirituality? Well, actually, the spiritual life itself, put into practice is a complete innovation, especially in this age of Kali Yuga. Because even one could make something similar to the spiritual life selfishly, conducting some sort of karma-kanda activity for the benefit of others, but it is intended to be personal benefit for oneself. But Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu brought a process where the practice is based on service and where the highest goal is the loving service. The underlying theme is love itself. The love you bring to your life often involves bringing anxiety, suffering, tears into your life. Rather, in those terms,loving someone means "getting into trouble", so people today do not care about anyone, not wanting anyone to love, knowing that loving someone means sacrifice and suffering. Mahaprabhu did not say that, on the contrary, He says love and care for everyone, do something so that everyone can be part of the Parivar of our spiritual master, our spiritual family. If someone is suffering in that process, we accompany and try to help. That is natural: we are committed love, love at hand, makes us suffer for the beloved. If you think that you want love, but do not want suffering, then you need to check your calculations, because love comes with suffering. In addition, people today suffer anyway why not have someone to love.
This idea of love, spiritual innovation means we must be ready to suffer in the process of loving others. It's like this: if you suffer for Mother Earth and try to do something for her to protect her, it will be very good for you because you will be able to live in a very natural environment. Whatever you want involves some renunciation, i.e. abstain from chemicals, etc. Because one way or another we are addicted to the things that the world has imposed and simple living high thinking means a process of getting used to the simple. That applied to the current context is a complete innovation.
So the conditioned system has to get accustomed to this. When Prabhupada said that we are conditioned souls he knew what he was talking about, we are conditioned to our comforts, if we have a chair to which we are conditioned, and then I can no longer sit on the floor. If the things that I am conditioned to disappear, then I feel that I am nobody. At that level is our identification with the material. Furthermore, real humility means recognizing that we are dependent on mercy and that we are being maintained. That's the first thing to learn. The first question one asks is: how am I being maintained? It is a real process of meditation. That is where you come to the conclusion that there is someone behind that gives you everything you receive and appreciate that, one cannot find words to give thanks to such a wonderful gift. Thus the grateful person reciprocates with God for everything He has given him and give thanks for maintaining him.
Now, this grateful person has the opportunity to be maintained by God to live in a sustainable way and in harmony with the environment. Many things are very difficult to leave, because we are so conditioned to them, to leave our own conditioning is a very complex process. Everything is there to make us aware of it, but we do not realize. Just as the soul is there, but you're not even aware of your own soul. Materialistic people fail to achieve this, they think that everything was just an accident. Poor people in this world who have been misled.
If I assume that I'm maintained and that there are things that are not positive for my maintenance, I can understand that the Supreme Designer wants me to accept things beneficial to my maintenance. It does not take rocket science to understand this. Otherwise you end up living a lie where you think there is neither a maintainer nor maintenance.
Do you really want to live a lie?
You want to live to learn how to become a liar with title and public license?
If you accept that you are maintained, then it is reasonable to wonder who is maintaining me? Imagine if every day you get out of bed and you find a feast of wonderful breakfast and the next day the same, at some point you wonder Who is preparing it? That is what spirituality involves, wondering who is doing this feast for me. Mother Nature is doing this daily feast: goodbye to tomorrow's afternoon sun and we welcome that sun the following day, that's wonderful, a real feast for the eyes. Maybe some people do not admit it, but we are constantly surrounded by a feast.
Recognizing that nature made this feast is a good approximation, the point now is who impregnates Mother Nature to do it, who gives the seed that produces everything? Life comes from life, the Supreme Maintainer. That is the meaning of life itself. If you want to know what life is, you have to give all the necessary importance to this issue and investigate it. That's another topic ... How to do this? How to find the answer to something I think is important? It is a very difficult question. Rather, the answer is not very difficult. What do you do when you want to know the answer to something, when you want to find something I do not know where? (Here the devotees give their answers) The answer is: one automatically prays when they need an answer and they do not know where to find it. We can even say that you not only "pray", but "crying" so the answers manifests.
In the same way, we mourn for true love, for truth to be revealed in our hearts. Only when we cry with all our heart for the truth, the answers appear. It's not structured, much less a simple ritualism, it is the power of calling from the heart. It is not a mechanical blessing. You have to mourn from deep within your heart if you want to find the person that is giving you this feast everyday. You yourself must "convince" God what you're looking for and your momentum is such that you will not take no for an answer. You have to show Him you're ready for anything in order to receive the real message and real mercy in your heart.
Then someone may ask: How long will I have to pray? Well, until you see the answers. Once you have received a response, you must embrace it wholeheartedly and only then love will begin to emerge. The chanting of the Maha-mantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare.
comes loaded with pure faith and intention behind it that one really wants to become a servant of that little blue boy who lives in Vrindavan and plays the flute stealing the hearts of all. By praying with faith one is sure to gets results If you have not reached this kind of faith, then pray to have that faith, to appreciate the right things. Belief - having faith, is a real mercy that makes life becomes a feast. And by believing in the right things you get a great gift to be shared with others. And to deepen it, one must also assess the quality of what you are giving to others. Indeed, one does not know what to give to others, because they have nothing to give, but by mercy faith and love that comes from God, we can convey that same thing, which is not ours but it has been revealed to us.
So giving to others becomes a way of life: live to give your love, live to give true knowledge, live in a kind manner with the environment, live deeply, accepting other people the same way we want to be accepted. My spiritual master was (physically speaking) older and small. When I first saw (with my worldly view) thought: How is this man so old and so seemingly small have so much power? And the answer is because it was not of this world and his sincerity and unconditional love saved us so much that today, 40 years after he departed from this world I'm sitting in front of you talking about him and because of him, all of you are here listening to these words.
In the material world one gets money, fame, fleeting pleasures, that's not what people need. People are looking for someone who can say: I met this person who completely surrendered himself for the benefit of others, that gave the best he had, and that made the difference. So I want to deliver something good and positive to people and I want you to also be part of this valuable transaction. So we must strive to give the best we have ... and what is the best? It is our love as Srila Prabhupada taught us. This innovative movement Harinama-sankirtan of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is based on that same concept, giving of love. It is by love that Krishna says: Come to me, come to Vrindavan, receive My prasada ... The Lord is really behind us, to the point of obsessing, because one becomes obsessed by love.
This is the message I want to share with you today, from the wonderful Sri Mayapur Dham. Surrender your love, give your best to others and show to everyone who is behind the feast that we receive every day. To end the chat today I want to share with you two pieces of information. The first is a very beautiful and important announcement, there is a new sannyasi in our spiritual family that was initiated today, his name is Bhakti Caitanya Govinda Sundar Maharaj, who is in a hospital in the hands of Krishna because of terminal cancer. This morning he received his sannyasi name, sannyas mantra via telephone. He is originally from the Dominican Republic but is currently in the U.S. where he rendered service and has supported the program for quite some time at Govardhan.
Maharaj has been well known for being the winner of the gold medal in the wheelchair marathon and therefore larger than this is the fact that he has a heart of gold that has emphasized a lot. I hope Krishna gives the opportunity to have him in my arms during my next visit to New York in April, because last year I had to cancel because of the invitation we received from four original people of the Sierra Nevada. If we can all pray for him to have a lot of strength because he will continue doing chemotherapy during this time. We will share more news about Maharaj on Sunday, be with us in this way in the fight for the health of this dear brother and sannyasi.
The other news is that these days, with Tapasvi Maharaj, we decided that we want to help solidify our ashram in Mayapur, so we want to during the great festivals of the year like the Vyasapuja of Gurudeva Atulananda and the Mela festival in October, to see if we can make a competition to see how much we can collect to expand a little more and preserve the beautiful corner called Jahnavi Kunja Gaudiya Math which is an oasis of our family in Sri Mayapur Dham. Soon we will share ideas and news about it. All glories to Srila Prabhupada, whose mercy permits us to be here one more day.
Goura Nitai Haribol!
Swami B. A. Paramadvaiti.